Juno’s striking new image of Jupiter reveal the planet’s true swirling colors

Now, we can all stare into space with a new-found appreciation for our solar system’s largest planet.

The raw image was captured by Juno’s JunoCam on the explorer’s 43rd close flyby of Jupiter, at a distance of 3,300 miles (5,300 km), while it glided by at a “casual” 130,000 mph (209,000 kph).

Jónsson took the raw data from Juno and processed it to develop two images. The left-hand image is what we would see with the naked eye, and the right-hand one is digitally enhanced so that color and saturation highlight the planet’s intricate atmosphere to stand out.

The end result is the stuff of dreams.

Aside from dreams and beautiful pictures, what the right-hand, enhanced image also brings to the fore is the complex architecture of the planet’s atmosphere. You clearly see the variations in the chemical composition of different parts of Jupiter’s atmosphere.

It also helps to reveal the three-dimensional nature of the powerful storms that blast around the planet’s clouds. The planet’s higher atmosphere clouds are also clearly visible in this way.

What you need to know about Juno

NASA’s Juno launched in 2011 and headed off on a five-year journey to our solar system’s largest planet – the gas giant Jupiter. In 2016, Juno finally arrived by Jupiter after its 1.7-billion-mile journey and began its mission: to probe beneath the planet’s dense clouds and answer questions about the origin and evolution of the planet, our solar system, and giant planets in general across the cosmos.

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